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International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling

Document type
Field of application
Dec 2, 1946
IUCN (ID: TRE-000074)
Title (French)

Convention internationale pour la réglementation de la chasse à la baleine

Title (Spanish)

Convención internacional para la reglamentación de la caza de la ballena

Title (Other)

Internationales Übereinkommen zur Regelung des Walfangs

Place of adoption
Washington D.C.
United States of America
Entry into force
Nov 10, 1948
Wild species & ecosystems, Sea
Seasons Marine resources management Institution Marine fisheries Hunting gear/hunting methods Management/conservation Hunting authorization/permit Hunting/capture Data collection/reporting Protected animal species Size Marine mammals

This abstract takes into consideration the amendment of 1956.

Objectives: To protect all species of whales from overfishing and safeguard for future generations the great natural resources represented by whale stocks and to establish a system of international regulation for the whale fisheries to ensure proper conservation and development of whale stocks.

Summary of provisions: Contracting Governments agree to take measures to enforce the regulations adopted by the International Whaling Commission for the conservation and utilisation of whale stocks, and to report any infraction to them to the Commission (art. 9).

Institutional mechanisms: An International Whaling Commission is established (art. 3). It is to encourage research and investigation, to collect and analyse statistical information, and to appraise and disseminate information concerning whaling and whale stocks (art. 4). The Commission is to meet annually to adopt the regulations mentioned above, dealing with protected and unprotected species, open and closed seasons, open and closed areas, size limits for species, maximum catches for any other season, types of gear and apparatus to be used (art. 5).

(Source: IUCN ELC, 08.2005, based on UNEP Register of International Treaties and Other Agreements in the Field of the Environment, 1996)


This Convention set up an International Whaling Commission for the control of whaling, both from land- stations and by pelagic operations. It is supplemented by a Schedule in which details of the stocks on which taking may be conducted and the number of whales which may be taken are set out. The Schedule also addresses questions relating to the treatment of whales which are taken and for enforcement of the Convention. Provides that the International Whaling Commission may instigate or organise scientific studies connected with 'whales and whaling', and may collect and analyse statistics. It may also disseminate information on methods of maintaining or increasing the population of whales. States parties must take all practicable measures to collect and analyse biological data. Provision is made for the preparation of catch returns and the keeping of 'statistical and biological records.' Provision is also made for the taking of whales under scientific permits. Yearly submission (at least) must be made to the International Whaling Commission of information on whales and whaling, including data received from scientific permits. Regulates taking of whales, with reference to seasons, areas, methods of taking, etc. Infractions must be recorded by governments and reported to the International Whaling Commission.

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Austria -
Belgium -
Belize -
Benin -
Brazil -
Bulgaria -
Cambodia -
Cameroon -
China -
Colombia -
Congo -
Costa Rica -
Croatia -
Cyprus -
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Côte d'Ivoire -
Dominica -
Dominican Republic -
Ecuador -
Eritrea -
Estonia -
Finland -
Gabon -
Gambia -
Germany -
Ghana -
Grenada -
Guinea -
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Hungary -
Iceland -
India -
Ireland -
Israel -
Italy -
Kenya -
Kiribati -
Korea, Republic of -
Lao, People's Dem. Rep. -
Liberia -
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Luxembourg -
Mali -
Marshall Islands -
Mauritania -
Mexico -
Monaco -
Mongolia -
Morocco -
Nauru -
Netherlands -
New Zealand -
Nicaragua -
Norway -
Oman -
Palau -
Panama -
Poland -
Portugal -
Romania -
Russian Federation
Saint Kitts and Nevis -
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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines -
San Marino -
Sao Tome and Principe -
Senegal -
Slovakia -
Slovenia -
Solomon Islands -
South Africa
Spain -
Suriname -
Sweden -
Switzerland -
Tanzania, Un. Rep. of -
Togo -
Tuvalu -
United Kingdom
United States of America
Uruguay -

* [1] Ratification [2] Accession/approbation [3] Acceptance/approval [4] Succession [5] Consent to be bound [6] Definite signature

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